The South Sound Football Team, part of an independent league of college-age students around the Puget Sound Area, held tryouts for anyone interested.
It was the first combine tryout for this upcoming football season. Thirteen prospective players showed up for the first tryouts. There were also some returners from last year’s team, as well as some new staff members.
Turnout was smaller than expected, according to head coach Joe Stinton. None the less, students of many different ages came from a wide range of locations.
One student in particular, Craig Mulligan, did 20 reps of 185lbs on the bench press and served in the Army for 4 years and is a combat veteran for serving in Iraq. He stood out the most and has high expectations from Head Coach Joe Stinton.
“I cannot wait to see him throw the ball,” said Stinton.
He will be the new quarterback for the South Sound Football Team, and will be attending his first quarter in the fall at South Puget Sound Community College.
However, Mulligan is not the only athlete to keep an eye out for this upcoming football season. Students like Bobbie Barnes and Kyle Gross Hans will also be playing and will be attending college this fall quarter.
James Davidson is also attending SPSCC and is a returner for this season.
In fact, most of the players on the team or trying out for the team go to SPSCC. However, there are a few seniors from high schools as well.
Students from just about any school can join the team. They even have a student from Saint Martins University and from the Evergreen State College.
The tryouts overall went well and were intense, according to Stinton. Probably the most intense workout was the bench press. Students of all shapes and sizes gave their best to bench 185 lbs.
One athlete who was particularly skinny on the bench was asked by one of the assistant coaches, “how much do you weigh, big guy?”
Everyone laughed when he replied, “155.”
He managed to do about eight reps. That was more than what most of the athletes could.
However, the combine was not just about trying out to see if you make the team. After several types of exercises and hours later, Coach Stinton had everyone sit down in the middle of the Pavilion.
He then introduced the coaching staff, “Blue Shirts” where they each took turns telling the students what they coached and what they were all about.
Coach Stinton stood up to tell the athletes about himself and the league.
“This league is about education and football,” he said.
He went on to say what was required to be an athlete on the team and what was to be expected of them once they were on the team.
One requirement, according to Stinton, is that one must be a student athlete to play. Also, no less than 12 credits must be taken.
Once a student athlete is eligible and has begun playing, they are expected to help raise money for the team. Fundraising is very important for this team if they are to get new gear, supplies, and transportation, Stinton said.
It was made very clear by Coach Stinton, “if you are not willing to help fund-raise, you don’t need to be here.”
Final comments were given by the assistant coaches to help boost the confidence of the student athletes and to help inspire them. Coaches made comments like, “this is your opportunity, we will be better than last year,” and “get your body and minds ready.”
With spring ball starting in June and high expectations by the coaches for this season, Coach Stinton believes the South Sound Football Team should go undefeated this season and win a championship.